Paper Mill Makes Major Commitment to Wind Power

This June, Mohawk Paper Mills, a family-owned upstate New York producer of printing papers, will begin using 45 million kWh of wind power annually to run its two mills in New York as well as a newly purchased facility in Ohio. With this annual consumption, Mohawk Paper will become a national leader in the use of wind power for manufacturing, second only to Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest consumers of electricity in the United States.

Mohawk Paper Mills are the only paper mills in the U.S. to use wind energy to manufacture paper. Over the past two years, Mohawk Paper has taken a leadership role in producing environmental papers. With many of its corporate customers seeking ways to mitigate impacts on the environment and looking for a means to highlight their contributions to socially responsible organizations, Mohawk responded by developing a line of process-chlorine-free 100% recycled paper manufactured with non-polluting, wind-generated energy from wind farms in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. According to George Milner, Mohawk’s Senior Vice President, Energy, Environmental and Governmental Affairs, wind energy now provides 21 percent of the total power for its two mills in upstate New York and 50 percent of the annual power required for the Beckett Mill in Ohio. “There is a misconception that choosing the environmentally correct path costs a lot more,” Milner said, “but with the technological advances in windmills, the cost of wind power is within range of traditional energy sources. And our customers find it a tangible way to express their own commitment to sustainability.” Mohawk first purchased a turbine’s worth of wind power in 2004 for its Cohoes, New York plant increasing that amount in 2005 to the output of 2.5 turbines. Then, on April 30, 2005, when Mohawk announced its acquisition of the Fine Papers group from International Paper Company, it began negotiating a new contract to provide wind power to its newly acquired Beckett Mill in Hamilton, Ohio. On June 1, Mohawk will begin taking an additional 35,000 kWh of power for the Beckett Mill. The third in two years, this commitment allowed Mohawk to join the highest level EPA Green Power Partnership Leadership Club. Our commitment to environmental excellence has sustained — even propelled us — to where we are today,” said Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., Mohawk’s Chairman and CEO. “Response to our Wind Power Portfolio has opened up new markets with customers committed to preserving the earth’s natural resources.” Mohawk Wind Power Portfolio customers include General Electric, Fed Ex/Kinkos and BP Oil. The Sierra Club recently purchased the environmentally friendly paper to use as packaging for distribution of a DVD about the oil drilling controversy in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge.
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